- Britain’s Prince Harry sidestepped political controversy by refusing to reveal whether former President Barack Obama would be on his wedding guest list.
- There had been speculation in British media that officials within the government were nervous about inviting Obama but not President Donald Trump, fearing it could cause stressed US-UK relations.
- Trump found himself in hot water with the British government after he retweeted several videos by an anti-Muslim, far-right British nationalist group in November.
Prince Harry managed to avoid political drama on Wednesday when he refused to reveal the guest list for his wedding during an interview with BBC radio, following speculation that the prince could offend President Donald Trump if he invited former President Barack Obama but not him.
“We haven’t put the invites or the guest list together yet, so who knows whether he’s going to be invited or not,” Harry said when asked if Obama was going to be there. “I wouldn’t want to ruin that surprise.”
A Christmas Day report from British tabloid The Sun claimed UK government officials were worried that extending an invitation to Obama but not Trump could cause UK relations with the US to deteriorate even further.
“Harry has made it clear he wants the Obamas at the wedding, so it’s causing a lot of nervousness,” a senior government official reportedly told The Sun. “Trump could react very badly if the Obamas get to a Royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the Queen.”
Following massive protests in June, the UK government put Trump’s official state visit on hold for the foreseeable future.
Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle on Saturday, May 19 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, so the two have a few months to get the guest list together. Though the Queen may not attend the wedding, Buckingham Palace will still play a sizeable role in its planning.
How a Trump snub could worsen relations
Fears about the political fallout from a Trump snub in the UK come amid a deepening rift between the two allies.
In November, British Prime Minister Theresa May said “it was wrong” for Trump to retweet several anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right nationalist group. He responded by attacking her on Twitter.
The spat even fuelled speculation that the US president might be be arrested for violating British law if he were to arrive. UK House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said Trump would be barred from speaking in parliament because of the retweets.
Prince Harry, who is fifth in line for the throne (for now), made the reserved comments about his wedding to the BBC after he conducted an interview with Obama last week, during which the pair exchanged common views on social media use, and discussed Obama’s thoughts on the day his term ended.
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